Neymar Jokes About Austria's 'UFC' Tactics, Talks World Cup Dreams

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJune 10, 2018

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - JUNE 10:  Neymar of Brazil reacts during an International Friendly match at Ernst Happel Stadium on June 10, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.  (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)
Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

Neymar joked about Austria's tactics after Brazil cruised to a 3-0 friendly win on Sunday and said his team are dreaming big ahead of FIFA World Cup 2018.

The Paris Saint-Germain star made his first start for Brazil since November as he continues his comeback from foot surgery and was on the end of several fouls he did not seem to appreciate.

"We got ready for the UFC today, but it was good. Everyone was unharmed," he said, per Goal's Dom Farrell.

The 26-year-old also spoke about the mood in the camp ahead of the tournament in Russia.

"You have to trust, you dream," he said. "You can talk, you're Brazilian, and you can dream; we're dreaming more and more. Dreaming is not forbidden."

Neymar did seem to be targeted by the Austrian players, and the treatment he received angered manager Tite, as shown by journalist Fernando Duarte:

Fernando Duarte @Fernando_Duarte

Brazil manager Tite not happy with Schopf's challenge on Neymar and gives some lip to his Austrian counterpart.

Neymar responded in the best way possible, scoring a brilliant second goal after Gabriel Jesus had earlier opened the scoring.

Paris Saint-Germain @PSG_English

πŸ‡§πŸ‡· Absolute πŸ”₯ from @neymarjr against Austria! #AUTBRA πŸ“ˆ With this stunner, he reached 5⃣5⃣ national team goals to equal Romario as Brazil's third all-time scorer! πŸ“½ @CBF_Futebol https://t.co/dJMPaU7i8m

Neymar rose to joint third on the list of Brazil's all-time leading goalscorers behind only Pele and Ronaldo:

B/R Football @brfootball

Neymar is 26. πŸ‡§πŸ‡· https://t.co/qp57NCqCH3

At his age, Neymar has plenty of time to beat Pele's tally and become the country's greatest international goalscorer.

The game was Brazil's final warm-up match before the World Cup, so the squad will head to Russia in good form and looking like the team to beat.

Selecao Brasileira highlighted the team's record in 2018:

Seleção Brasileira @BrazilStat

Brazil in 2018: 3-0 vs Russia 1-0 vs Germany 2-0 vs Croatia 3-0 vs Austria Scored: 9 Conceded: 0 TITE. πŸ’› https://t.co/YIR3cg7BMU

Brazil have plenty of attacking talent along with Neymar. Philippe Coutinho was also on the scoresheet on Sunday, and Willian, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino can be called upon.

The team have great balance as well, with Casemiro protecting a solid defence. Alisson is one of the most highly rated goalkeepers in Europe and is wanted by Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, per Hugo Cerezo of Marca.

Former midfielder Stuart Holden explained why Brazil are so strong:

Stuart Holden @stuholden

Random World Cup Thought #3: Brazil are really really good and will make a deep run. Really nice balance between tactical discipline, midfield power and attacking flair. Big Tite fan.

Brazil will open their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Sunday before facing Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage. The Selecao will be favourites to progress and with Neymar back fit and firing will believe anything is possible.